Coast to Coast challenge completed! | Fundraising update
Firstly, we'd like to say a massive thank you to every single one of you that made a donation towards our fundraising challenge for Cancer Research UK.
We still have a little way to go to hit our £5,000 target, so any further support would be hugely appreciated!
On Friday 8th of September, we boarded a flight to Inverness to compete in the epic 'Coast to Coast' challenge, with the aim of covering over 105 miles of the Scottish Highlands by foot, bicycle and kayak, all in just 2 days.
Once we landed on Friday night, we had an hour to get out of the airport and head to Cawdor Castle for event registration and bike collection, before heading to our hotel for a night of much needed rest before day 1.
Saturday morning was full of excitement as we made our way towards the start line in Nairn. The sun was out and spirits were high. The first part of the challenge was a 7 mile run towards Cawdor Castle where the bikes had been stored the night before, ready to be ridden past the stunning sights of Loch Ness. The 48 miles of continuous and tough cycling were thankfully balanced by the beautiful views.
Our experience will also be remembered fondly thanks to a ‘King of the Mountains' performance by Dale (who would have thought the 'zigzagging and snaking across the road' approach to cycling would prove so successful) and Millsy recalling his inner cycling strength established in his teens pedalling the Lake District lanes to get to his summer jobs (this was thought to have been lost long ago!). We then had 1 mile to kayak into Fort Augustus campsite where we would spend the night.
Jacko, Sam, Millsy and Dale down on the beach, raring to go!
Sam checking his work emails in the middle of the Scottish Highlands. Now THAT'S Commitment
The bikes, padded shorts and seats (a god send… okay, an Amazon send) had served their purpose and were left at Fort William. We were now heading off into some seriously tough Highland terrain for a 14 mile trek/run towards Loch Leven. At this point, our bodies were hurting from all the miles covered and the cold, damp clothes we'd been in for the past 6 hours. But there was a challenge to be completed and onward we went!
Willpower, determination and team strength were needed to get us through the steep incline up Glen Nevis, through the undulating and vast landscape of The Great Glen to Loch Leven where the final 1 mile kayak awaited us. While Sam’s rugby stamina held him in good stead to power on, Millsy’s lack of breakfast fuel caught up with him and he was kept going with an effective diet of Lucozade Sport, Haribo & chocolate - thanks Jacko! We’ll have to revisit one day so we can take the time to take photos and experience the bleakness and beauty of the place – rather than the constant looking down at our feet to check footing on the uneven paths!
The very last bit of energy we had was used to kayak towards the finish line at the Isles of Glencoe Hotel (this was not Sam & Millsy’s forte – how did everyone else get so good at it!? Apologies to the guys, if you’re reading this, who we accidentally rammed 10m from the finish... think we may have spoilt their whole experience 😐). Feeling relieved and exhausted, we had made it. We had just completed one of the toughest challenges you can find.
After a few celebratory beers, we boarded the coach to take us back to Inverness. It was the quietest coach ever with everyone absolutely knackered and taking the opportunity to catch some rest!
A few days back home and we're feeling a little sore but proud of our accomplishment and the amount of money raised so far.
Everyone at UR are also very proud of the fantastic effort needed to finish this challenge. We're currently just over 70% of our £5,000 target for Cancer Research UK and would love to hit the end goal.
With their 'Challenger Finisher' medals
Any further support to help us hit our goal would be amazing!
From all of us, thank you in advance for your kind donations and support.
Written by Paul Marks.